North Bay Haven working towards the season, and a Friday classic with Port St. Joe

Updated: Aug. 15, 2022 at 6:35 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -Area high school football teams, like North Bay Haven, get into some sort of game-week mode this week, while they also prep for the season as a whole. You see after two weeks of fall camp, here in week three as teams continue to prepare for the season ahead, well most are also preparing for their preseason classics. The Buc’s doing so with new head coach John Pate at the helm. He came west after a pretty good run at Hilliard in the Jacksonville area. He led that program to three straight playoff appearances the last three years. And that program was a re-build when he took it over, like North Bay Haven is, it’s fair to say. The Buc’s won just six games the last two seasons. To change things, well coach Pate’s coming in with the football version of tough love!

“Our numbers aren’t what I’d like to be. We upped the standards in order to play here. How many times you had to lift and run in the summer, or else your locker’s cleaned out. So we had some defections, so it’s not for everybody. We’re transitioning from more of an air raid type offense, and zone on running game, to more of an option based offense, and play action pass. So it will be unique to see what happens, coming first of all Friday night, and then the season.”

And that test Friday comes against a Port St. Joe team that coach Pate obviously holds in rather high regard!

“We arguably have our toughest game, in terms of personnel, going to play the kickoff classic at Port St. Joe.” the coach told us. “And if we don’t start toughening up a little bit more we’re gonna get rocked in the mouth. They’ll be a really fine team. And Port St. Joe will be a team that can make a run at the Class-A state championship this year, certainly on paper, gotta be in the top four. So it will be a challenge for us.”

That game Friday in Port St. Joe is set for 7:30 eastern, 6:30 central time.

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